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Viyella was originally the world’s first branded fabric woven as early as 1893 in England. As the company evolved it started making items of clothing such as nightgowns and Viyella shirts. The business has been through various re-structuring processes resulting in today’s men’s and ladies Viyella brands being separate companies. The current Viyella men’s shirts that we stock are made from 80% cotton and 20% wool in a selection of traditional checks and tartans.
Viyella cloth – a brief history.
The original Viyella cloth was a mixture of 55% merino and 45% cotton twill weave. The brand name was first trademarked in 1894 in the UK and 1907 in the US and covered fabric to be sold by the yard rapidly expanding to include clothing.
Viyella was a soft dress-weight fabric that was more resistant to shrinkage than any comparable pure wool alternative (challis for example). In its early years it was marketed as a fabric which combined lightness and fashion with warmth and durability. One 1920s advertisement called it a "guaranteed unshrinkable fine wool flannel for women who wanted both "daintiness" and "protectiveness". By the early 20th century it came in various weights and widths, and in both plain colours and woven or printed patterns and was exported from the UK to other English-speaking countries. Towards the end of the 20th century it was woven in 150 cm (59 in) wide lengths suitable for modern garment design and production.
Clydella was a cheaper, less soft alternative made with 81 percent cotton, produced at factories in the Clydeside area of Scotland.
Dayella cloth was also woven by the company and was used especially for babies' clothes.
The modern Viyella shirt.
Currently the most recognisable Viyella men’s shirt is made from 80% cotton and 20% wool in a twill weave. While the company is still based in the UK with various overseas franchises, the cloth is now woven abroad, and the shirts are made in Indonesia before being imported into the UK.
The shirts maintain their classic shape and the cloth is a lovely mixture of warmth and breathability making them extremely durable and comfortable to wear too.
The patterns are still very classic reflecting the British origins of the company. The medium tattersall check shirt is our biggest seller while the authentic tartan shirts available in patterns such as Black Watch and Royal Stewart are forever popular.
Westaway & Westaway have been selling Viyella shirts since the 80’s and we believe we currently have one of the largest independent selections available on the internet.